Greater safety guarantees for nuclear power stations

The Assembly has spelled out a series of steps governments should take to improve the safety of nuclear power stations in Europe – and minimise the risk of accidents or terror attacks.

Approving a resolution after a plenary debate today, PACE said Europeans needed greater reassurance that they were being effectively protected against a nuclear accident, whether it be “due to a malevolent act or a system failure”.

The Assembly called for:

  • more frequent safety reviews for reactors more than 40 years old
  • stronger and more independent national nuclear regulators
  • reinforced physical protection of reactors and spent nuclear fuel pools
  • measures to stop drones flying over nuclear infrastructure
  • a wider protection zone around nuclear plants
  • better information for locals on emergency
  • preparedness – including in cross-border situations

The parliamentarians urged the authorities of Belarus not to issue an operational license for the Ostrovets nuclear power plant, currently being built 45km from the capital of neighbouring Lithuania, until it meets certain international safety standards.

They also expressed deep concern at the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in an earthquake-prone region of Turkey only 85 kilometres from the border with Cyprus.